10 Steps To Follow Before Turning On Your Air Conditioner
Atlanta is one of those places where it often seems like we have just two seasons: winter and summer. Sometimes we go from frigid temperatures to boiling heat in a matter of a few days.
That means there is little in between time for us to switch from using our furnaces to air conditioning equipment. And we expect all of the equipment to work flawlessly from the moment we turn it on.
To ensure that happens this spring, there are a few steps to follow before you turn on the air conditioner for the first time.
Start with your indoor equipment.
1. Check your thermostat. When was the last time you replace your thermostat? Is it out of date? You could save money by installing a programmable thermostat.
2. Check exposed ductwork. Not all of your ductwork is behind the walls. Check basements, attics, or crawlspaces and ensure exposed ductwork is still intact. Leaks in ductwork are one of the biggest sources of cooling loss in a home.
3. Check air vents. Have you moved furniture or redecorated since last summer? Drapes, furniture, or even toys might block vents and prevent proper cooling of your home.
4. Check the drain line. The indoor cooling coil is typically mounted above the furnace. The drain can clog over time, especially as it sits unused for extended periods of time. If it’s clogged when you first turn it on, you could have water damage quickly spread throughout your home.
5. Check your air filter. Yep, for the same reason you should change it out in the winter, starting up your system for the summer months should begin with a clean air filter too.
6. Check circuits. Visually inspect all circuits to ensure all connections are on. Be sure the power is turned on at the AC unit.
Then move to your outdoor equipment.
7. Check your outdoor condenser unit. Make sure debris hasn’t accumulated by the unit, blocking the interior components and affecting performance. You’ll also want to ensure the unit wasn’t damaged over the winter months, and that all panels are closed and in good condition.
8. Check refrigerant lines. These lines should be insulated to improve efficiency of the system. All repairs to the refrigerant lines should be made by a professional.
9. Check electrical wiring. If you see wear or damage to any of the electrical wiring lines or connections, call in a professional before you start up the system.
10. Check expectations. Air conditioners have a lifespan of anywhere from 10 to 15 years. If your unit is approaching its useful life, it may be time to think of replacing it before it shuts down altogether.
It’s never fun experiencing a problem with your air conditioner on the hottest day of the year. Take care of your equipment now before the heat of the season begins to ensure you have a cool summer this year.